The first contribution of an artificial intellect, known today as A.I. is the hacking of Enigma coding machine. The story of Alan Turing was intriguingly impersonated by Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game drama movie. It is acknowledged that Turing`s success with creating an algorithm and machine that managed to break the Enigma code has saved millions of lives during the WWII.
This was the beginning of A.I. and it was advanced science at its best. Today, A.I. is something we have easy access to. Like in chatbots. They are a product of machine learning, neuro-lingual programming, and their core represents a conversational interface.
During the 60`s, Alan Turing and Joseph Weizenbaum created the first chatbot named Eliza. Its goal was to validate the idea of machine communicating with humans. That’s why Turing created the Turing Test which goal was to test the computer ability to display intelligent behavior close or indistinguishable from that of a human. The test requires two human and a computer. One person talks via computer with two object – one of them is human, the other is a computer. The goal for the person is to determine the actual human.
50 years later, chatbots can be powered by A.I. and are easily applied in various technology products. Like smartphones, cars and e-commerce websites. And it happens while natural language processing is still in its infancy. But it is already building a new kind of interface between human and machine. We are not far from the point where new TV sets will be equipped with A.I. and they will be commanded by human speech, not by remote control. And this is just a basic application.
Two kinds of chatbots are known today. First one is based on predefined rules. It is simple to create and maintain since it responds to very specific commands. Think of it as the next level of FAQ sections of websites. The other kind of chatbots is where A.I. is under control because of natural language processing and machine learning. This bot understands language, not just commands. And it gets smarter as it learns from conversations it has with people.
Imagine self-learning algorithm with a chatbot interface able to access medical maps that make a connection between symptoms and conditions. This is Your.MD application which is pre-installed on the premium Samsung devices. Babylon Health is another medical A.I. chatbot with diagnostic skills. It leads you through a number of questions regarding your condition and offers a diagnostic conclusion and ability to book a consultation with GP.
Today you can create your own chatbot thanks to numerous platform kits and to integrate it successfully in ecosystems like Slack or Facebook Messenger. Why should you do that? Because instant messaging usage is already prevalent of the social media consumption. On top of this, chatbots already have better retention rate than smartphone applications.
Is it easy? Not yet but some day will be.